Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daniel Li, what do you think of MACC today?

Below is the news report from The Star, dated February 25 2009, in which the Deputy Commission and Head of Operations of ICAC Hong Kong, complimented the Malaysian government on the formation of the MACC. I wonder, after two years, with all that have happened, will he still express the same views or will he be shocked at the way MACC is operating today.

The creation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was lauded by a top official of the anti-graft body that it was styled after – Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Its deputy commissioner and head of operations Daniel Li said it is a good start for Malaysia to battle graft.

Li, who was among those consulted by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in the drafting of the MACC Act, said there was a lot of hard work ahead and it would take time to train the 5,000 investigating officers that would be recruited over the next few years.

“It is not something that can be done overnight. For the long term, you need to invest in people. It is a good start and sustaining the effectiveness of the agency relies on the people,” he said after the launching of MACC.

Interpol Group of Experts on Corruption chairman Barry O’Keefe believes it is a “marvellous thing” to have the MACC and it showed that the country is committed publicly to fight corruption. “If people support the fight against corruption, it would succeed. I think it is quite spectacular for the Malaysian Government to dedicate itself in a fight against corruption.

“It is a reason for many Western countries to be ashamed how little they have done,” said O’Keefe, who was a former Commissioner of the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption in Australia.

He noted that when dealing with politicians, an anti-corruption agency would always be faced with criticism and this should not deter them from their duty as the court would decide.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said there is a need for MACC to “not only be fair and efficient but seen to be fair and seen to be efficient.

“Now the challenge is not only to be independent but seen to be independent,” he said.

Deputy commissioner Datuk Abu Kassim Mohammad said Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan had acted within the law when he commented about the Selangor Mentri Besar.

The Act says that information of a report can be disclosed with the consent of the public prosecutor or an MACC officer ranked commissioner or above.

Ahmad Said had said that MACC had strong evidence against Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim over matters involving the maintenance of his personal car and distribution of cows for slaughter in his Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary constituency.

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